Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religion & Culture / Religious Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Carol Duncan

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This work is an examination of children's bible story books, as found in eighteen Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United churches in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. It briefly outlines the place of these books in the churches and closely examines a selection of the most frequently appearing and/or important children's bibles found. The thesis of this work is that these books are pulled, to varying degrees, between being "children's" and being "Bible" and that the "Bible" aspect of the books has been underappreciated in discussions of the books to date. 1149 individual children's bible story book titles were catalogued by both their publication data and by their place in the eighteen churches. This catalogue was used to establish three things: first, the most frequently appearing books; second, the most frequently appearing stories; third, the place of the books in the churches. It was thus established that, while very few particular books appear in multiple churches, the types of stories they tell had a far greater consistency. However, it was also established that the role of these books in the churches is a highly supplementary one. Nonetheless, twenty-three of the most frequently appearing children's bibles were then examined, through a novel application of "redaction criticism," for the various ways they modify the biblical text. Six of the stories which appear most frequently were very closely examined in the five most important books of the twenty-three. This established the startling variety of ways individual bible stories could be told, where virtually the only consistency is that the story will be changed in some way from how it appears in the Bible. However, not all of the changes will be made, as might have been expected, so that the books are more appealing, or suitable, for children.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season